Koch Enjoying Offseason of Details

Sam Koch is obviously the Ravens’ punter for 2010. But how does he stay sharp?

Posted by Mike Duffy on Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 11:02 am | Categories: Mike Duffy

PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

At a time when the Ravens have a heated kicking battle between Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham, the other leg on the roster only needs to look in the mirror to find his competition.

With only himself to battle, punter Sam Koch is having one of the most-productive offseasons of his career.

One year after learning how to punt like an Australian-rules football player, Koch’s mastery of the new technique has freed up more time to focus on the little things.

“It’s one of those things where last year, it was a little uncomfortable going into those first few games, but now it’s second nature,” said Koch, who noted that he plans to kick two to three times a week up until late July’s training camp.  ”Not having to relearn something like that has allowed me to work on some other parts of my mechanics more often.

“I just focus on the details – my rhythm, the way I step into my kicks, my leg swing.”

Koch is coming off a solid season, where he averaged 43.7 net yards on 73 punts and placed 20 boots inside the 20-yard line.

But those numbers were down from a career 2008 campaign.  That year, Koch notched a 45-yard net average and boasted a team-record 34 punts inside the 20.

Even so, the simple statistics can be misleading.  With the Ravens’ offense clicking in 2009, Koch was asked to do more directional punting, pinning opponents near the sideline or deep in their own territory instead of simply blasting punts all over the field.

To do so, Koch utilized the Aussie rules-style of drop that caused the football to bounce backwards once it hit the turf.

“It helped pin the ball down instead of rolling into the end zone,” Koch explained.

Tags: , , ,